As a student member of the Africa Business Club, Tomiwa Igun (MBA 2012) learned how companies on the continent are struggling to find experienced managers to lead their organizations—and also how many young Africans are leaving their homeland for business educations and opportunities elsewhere. To help bridge those gaps, he cofounded Young African MBAs (YAM), which provides networking opportunities, educates young professionals and companies about the opportunities in Africa, offers career support, and provides a platform for companies to recruit talent.
“We help people who are looking to return to the continent because they’ve heard about the economic growth, the high GDPs, and the need for management talent, but aren’t sure how to go about that process,” says Igun. “We also provide support to people transitioning to the continent by introducing them to others who made the move and by sharing information on what to expect.”
YAM is an asset to companies that want to recruit from the diaspora of African talent that has gone to the US. “Now people reach out to us to recruit,” he says. “Every month we send out a newsletter, and in each one we probably have at least four job openings listed.”
The group also helps would-be business students apply to American schools. “Part of what we do is purely applications, helping to improve representation of Africans in business school,” Igun says. “When we started the MBA mentorship program, the first year it was just us and our friends doing the mentoring. Now the people we helped are paying it back, mentoring other people—it’s like a chain reaction.”
(Published February 2016)
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